Public sector blogging on the rise

There seems to have been a rash of new public sector blogs appearing in the last couple of months, probably in response to the massive upheaval the sector is facing.

The Redundant Public Servant I mentioned last week and he seems to have a growing band of followers.

Through his site I discovered We Love Local Government who must win the prize for the best comment about that Panorama programme:

As pointless as most papers at a Senior Managers’ Team meeting.

Then there is Public Value for Money, written by Gary Bandy who is, I think, a former public sector contracts manager turned lecturer. Many ‘good ideas’ from politicians founder on the detail and Gary points to the potential stumbling blocks in a number of recent initiatives. As he says:

The more one knows about a public service the harder it is to make decisions. If one is ignorant of the consequences of a decision it makes the whole thing much simpler.

He’s talking about the abolition of the Regional Development Agencies but this quote could be applied to a number of government decisions.

In a similar vein is Welcome to the Age of Austerity written by a 25 year-old working in local government. That’s the age that I was when I worked in local government in the heady days of Compulsory Competitive Tendering. Back then, like this blog’s author, I had a lot to say on the subject but I don’t know if it would have been quite as erudite as this assessment of the Coalition’s performance so far.

There is a well-trodden path from the private to the public sector. Some executives who have made a reasonable amount of cash in the private sector decide, in mid-career, to transfer to the public sector. They often talk about giving something back but the cynic in me reckons that some of them just think it will be a doss. Plenty of cash in the bank; take a bit of a pay cut and have a quiet life for a few years. Of course it’s not always as easy as people think and some managers get a rude awakening when they move sectors.

It’s a lot less common for managers to move in the other direction. The Faceless Bureaucrat, though, is aiming to do just that. After 20 years of low rewards for a lot of hassle, she has decided to take her NHS MARS redundancy cheque and reinvent herself as a filthy running dog of the blood-stained capitalist system. (Have you noticed that Workers’ Weekly is a lot less funny now they’ve stopped using language like that?) She is re-training as a trader, either in equities or foreign exchange, (she doesn’t seem to have made her mind up yet) and she’s keeping a diary as she goes. It’s fascinating and has become one of my regular reads.

Public sector blogging is alive and kicking, then, although it’s only a matter of time before the Daily Mail tries to track all the bloggers down for wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money; a figure that will no doubt be ‘proved’ my making spurious assumptions and preposterous extrapolations. 

Anyway, all these blogs will be going onto the sidebar. There may be others out there which I have yet to come across. If you see any more good ones, please let me know.

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3 Responses to Public sector blogging on the rise

  1. Pingback: Public sector blogging on the rise - Rick - Member Blogs - HR Blogs - HR Space from Personnel Today and Xpert HR

  2. Great survey of what’s going on. I take some heart from the creativity being shown by colleague bloggers in the teeth of adversity. A couple of blogs I’ve enjoyed (but not always agreed with) over the years include Inspector Gadget from Ruralshire police (http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/) and Random Acts of Reality from an ambulance somewhere in London (http://randomreality.blogware.com/). Both blogs give a sometimes terrifying perspective on what is happening at the sharp end of public services.

    You’re right too to raise the spectre of what happens when public sector bloggers get noticed. I ran an official blog for a while to give general readers an insight into my organisation’s work. Done in my own time I should add. Practically the first responses were comments saying – and this is near verbatim – ‘This is a disgrace, how dare you waste time and money telling us what you do. I’m going to put in an FoI request to find out what you’re up to.’ Er … wouldn’t it be easier just to read the bl**dy blog?

    Keep up the good work

    RPS

  3. localgovaswell says:

    Thanks for the mention:

    We’ve certainly found that the amount of things to write about and the amount of people willing to write (we are sort of a mixed bag) has increased massively in light of the current squeeze. Maybe the added self-reflection provided by the cuts is focring people to take a wry look at their own authorities whilst also feeling the need to defend the public services we provide from what has been a pretty strong onslaught. Either way, the mix between comedy, self-reflection and serious comment is making for an interesting time in public sector blogging. Trying to keep a balance between all three aspects is the challenge we try to balance.

    http://welovelocalgovernment.wordpress.com/

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